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Damon and Naomi

First of all, it’s impossible not to talk about Galaxie 500, the cult group that was little-known at the end of ‘80s but seemed to come into its own in the early ‘90s. I discovered them rather late on an excellent DVD from Plexifilm two years ago. Hailing from Boston and comprised of Dean, Damon, and Naomi, Galaxie 500 dissipated after three albums and several years of being under-appreciated. Dean left to form the more mainstream project Luna, while Damon and Naomi remained together.

I met Dean, accompanied by Britta, last summer in New York for a charming video session that took place mostly underground. Afterwards, with Galaxie 500 on my mind, the urge to do the “other half” grew stronger. Not to mention the fact that these guys had worked on a couple albums with Michio Kurihara from Ghost. If only…

Naomi Yang and Damon Krukowski live in Boston, love French wine, and promised to come to Paris for a couple of weeks of taste-testing. The promise came to fruition last January during a cold spell. The lights from the “Vieux Campeur” flooded the Maubert neighborhood where the apartment was located, and the wine was delicious.

Damon and Naomi had only expected to do two numbers, both covers: the first being the Everly Brothers’ “I Wonder If…” and the second Bob Dylan’s “Oh Sister.” Both songs are slow, old ballads that fit right in with the empty bottles and withering roses. (OK, that line is pretty, but the truth is that the roses didn’t really have time to wither.)

We then moved into the living room for the third bewitching song, “Araca Azul”, which slowly transformed into “Earth is Blue.”

It’s unusual for us to film entirely indoors, and in this case there are no real surprises. No screaming passers-by, no car horns honking, no anecdotes to take home for story time. Just two musicians and a camera that wanders around, adding nothing more than a curious lens.

I’ve watched these videos a good number of times, but my memory of the event is slightly clouded. I have Naomi’s emails gently insisting that we put the videos online as soon as possible, and the recollection of the end of the evening, which finished with a final song that rolled on wearily. But upon re-watching these videos, the particular rush was rekindled. In the montage, something seems to remain strikingly evident and projected even over the music itself: the laughs, the luster, and more than anything, the gentleness. A glimpse into a world that lies beyond the noisy commotion of all the others.

Thanks to Matt Evans for the translation